The Bulldogs secured their 4th Ivy League Championship in the last 6 years with a 23-18 win over the Crimson at the Bowl in front of a crowd of over 51,000 spectators. Congratulations to the players and coaches on an amazing back-to-back title run!
Grooms had ups and downs throughout the contest but delivered with the game on the line in the 4th quarter. Two promising Yale drives were derailed by turnovers from Grooms as he was under heavy pressure and was trying to force miraculous plays. Once the Crimson had taken the lead, Grooms found Tipton open along the sideline for a 31-yard gain for one of the greatest receptions in Yale’s history. Tipton managed to secure the pass and tap one foot in bounds right in front of Tim Murphy who successfully pleaded the case that Tipton was out of bounds before an overruling from the replay officials. On the next series, Grooms perfectly placed a ball to the corner of the end zone that Pantelis snagged over a defender in tight coverage. Although Grooms accounted for just 12 net rushing yards (64 yards gained, 52 yards lost), he had impactful runs and scrambles all contest. Pitsenberger, Alston, and Denney had tremendous performances at the running back position. Pitsenberger rushed for 99 hard fought yards and left a few more yards on the table as he tried to outrun defenders laterally instead of cutting inside. Alston had a strong showing in his final contest as he led the Bulldogs with 5.0 yards per carry. Denney filled in with Peterson out with an injury and was a pleasant surprise in the running game with 4.5 yards per carry and a touchdown. Yale only completed 10 passes in the contest but the wideouts made the most of their limited receptions. Lindley led the unit with 4 receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown while Tipton and Pantelis combined for another 3 receptions. The offensive line had their hands full against a stout defensive front yet only allowed 3 sacks and paved the way for 13 rushing first downs that allowed Yale to possess the ball over 35 minutes in the contest. The Bulldogs were fortunate that Durand was healthy as Bluhm and Charron battled through injuries during the contest. Junior OL Connor Smith filled in admirably at the guard position for much of the contest following Charron’s injury. Hawes and Yates were both solid at run blocking.
While the offense did just enough to win the contest, the defense and special teams deserve much of the credit for the victory. The defense limited Harvard to just 4 of 14 on third downs and 0 of 3 on fourth downs. The Crimson’s 1st Team All-Ivy running back was held to 50 rushing yards and no touchdowns. Vaughn was dominant with 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception that was returned for a touchdown but called back due to a penalty. Murphy did not study the Yale-Princeton film closely enough as he ran Harvard’s QB up the middle at Vaughn in the 4th quarter resulting in a fumble and shoulder injury for Jaden Craig. Moore had a nice contest with 4 tackles, half a tackle for loss and tight pass coverage. Patterson was a headache for the Crimson throughout the game and allowed his fellow defensive linemen to rack up impressive statistics. Larry notched another 3 sacks in the contest while Gulley, Shaber, Tyler, Egodogbare and Yang all made key stops. Owens and Guyton played well at the cornerback positions with Guyton sealing the victory on 4th down with tight coverage. Daniyan was beat on a flea flicker on Harvard’s opening possession but bounced back to have a stellar showing. Tarver showed promise against Harvard’s rushing attack but was out of position on both of the Crimson’s touchdown passes.
Bosman made his only field goal attempt of 33 yards and averaged 38 yards per punt. Florio handled most of the punting duties and placed two of his four punts inside the redzone although his 25-yard punt in the 4th quarter nearly proved disastrous. The punt block and field goal block teams were gamechangers for Yale. Dayne and Raymond each blocked a punt while Egodogbare blocked an extra point attempt that forced Harvard to chase additional points on failed two-point conversions.
Congratulations to Team 150!